Chiefs, Buccaneers opted not to have off-site PCR testing on Saturday

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The NFL stands only hours away from checking the 269th box on a 269-box grid, completing the full 2020 season despite the pandemic. It has happened in large part because the NFL ditched its original plan to test players, coaches, and essential staff three times per week and instead adopted the NFL Players Association’s strong recommendation that off-site PCR tests be conducted every single day.

It’s curious, then, that on the day before the last game of the 2020 season, both teams playing in the Super Bowl opted not to submit to off-site PCR testing. According to the league, both the Chiefs and the Buccaneers administered on-site, rapid-result PCR tests on Saturday — and neither team administered off-site PCR tests.

With the off-site PCR testing still the Cadillac standard for spotting infections, it’s fair to conclude that the teams opted to roll the dice on the possibility that someone would have been flagged as positive via a Saturday off-site PCR test. That would have automatically knocked the player who tested positive out of the game.

On Sunday, the teams will follow the normal game-day protocol, including off-site PCR testing. The results possibly could be returned during the game, and a positive result would prompt the league to remove the player from the field.

The more likely outcome is that the test results won’t arrive until after the last piece of confetti falls. If it turns out that one of the players tested positive via Sunday off-site PCR testing, it’s possible that player also would have tested positive via Saturday off-site PCR testing. Which sets the stage for others to potentially test positive in the coming days, if the player who would have tested positive on Saturday infected anyone else on Sunday.

The decision to skip Saturday off-site testing therefore stretches, if only a bit, the donut hole with which the NFL has co-existed for 22 weeks, regarding incubation period and the lag between sample collection and result. Still, why not go ahead and do the Saturday off-site PCR testing?

Only one reasonable explanation can be identified for doing it: With one game left, and with a championship riding on it, both teams were willing to assume the kind of risk that, throughout the entire season, never was assumed by any team.

8 responses to “Chiefs, Buccaneers opted not to have off-site PCR testing on Saturday

  1. They likely figure if someone gets sick as a result its worth the risk because its the Super Bowl.

    No one wants that opportunity ripped away from them literally hours before the biggest or one of the biggest moments of their life.

  2. Every week the narrative has been the sky will fall. It hasn’t. All games scheduled have and will be paid.

  3. Herd Immunity says: ‘Let them Play’ Please read the World Health Organization released a guidance memo on December 14th 2020, warning that high cycle thresholds on PCR tests will result in false positives. PCR Testing is not conclusive – PERIOD. Most people already had the Wuhan Lab virus without any serious symptoms or life threatening consequences. You have a 99.8% chance of recovery. Welcome to the Era of Orwells ‘1984’ and ‘DoubleSpeak’. You are being conditioned through FEAR, agenda driven news and agenda driven politics for the sole purpose of getting ‘YOU’ to surrender ‘YOUR’ Freedoms. Now Mask Up and OBEY or you will be punished – This message from your Supreme Leader Dr. Phoney

  4. Wait with all the covid deaths of nfl players coaches and fans from this season i am horrified that this game is even being plaid ….

  5. I don’t blame them. They don’t want a false positive to knock out a player like Brady or Mahomes, only to find out the next day that the test was wrong. But it’s been the very strict daily testing that has allowed the NFL owners to prosper, while many businesses nationwide have gone under. Let’s check box 269 and get this game in the books! I couldn’t imagine someone running onto the field in the middle of the game and removing a player.

  6. Ryan Dubose says:
    “Wait with all the covid deaths of nfl players coaches and fans from this season i am horrified that this game is even being [played] ….”

    Oh, yeah. It was a disaster. Sure, nobody died or even got really sick, but I heard that one player STILL has occasional shortness of breath from the lingering after affects. 🙂

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